Today I'd like to talk about why I branding is a little like dating your customers. And I don't mean that in a creepy stalker-y way, but in a nice building relationships kind of way.
Branding is about making two things fall in love with each other
Yo Santosa puts it really really well when she says branding is about making two things fall in love with each other: your customers and your business. And if you think about doing business in those terms, that means that you need to go about your engagement and your communication in a completely different way. Just keep the image of going on a date in your head and you will do absolutely fine.
Taking your customer out
Why is dating such a great metaphor for branding? Because branding is all about building relationships. Think about it in terms of human dating: if you were to go out and get somebody to be interested in you, you would probably be quite mindful about the way you present yourself. You'd wear something nice, you'd take them to a really good restaurant, you'd tell funny stories or tell them about your past. You'd be honest and open and engaging and let your personality show.
Of course, for a relationship to grow, you have to have shared values and interests and your personalities have to be aligned. But above all you have to enjoy talking to each other - and the talking part is really important in this context because as businesses, we communicate all the time. But are we really communicating with our customers in mind, or are we just telling them what we think they'd like to hear?
The dating metaphor also comes in really handy because it forces you to think of your business as a person rather than just a thing or an entity. I've got a video and blog on that coming up, because to me this is a crucially important part of building a brand, but that's for another day.
Forging a True Connection
So at the end of the day you taken your customers on this great date, and you made a connection. This is the starting point where great brands grow from. Putting relationships at the core of your business means that you are going beyond the call of duty. Beyond just delivering that one product or service and leaving at that, even if the customs quite happy at that point. You are making an effort to build a long-term relationship.
The idea here is to make people not just like you, but LOVE you. So they are really super engaged, follow you on social media, share your content, look out for any new offers, come back and re-engage. Above all you want them to tell their friends about you, so you are getting that really highly converting form of marketing which is personal recommendation.
Next time you're building any kind of marketing strategy or new product, service, or even just a social media posts, think about how you would take your customer on that particular date. How you woo them, how you'd make them feel really well looked after and super special. This will get them to buy into the idea of your business are something that is more than just a business: a business that is also a person.
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